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Dr. Karen Ruskin
It is quite common for women and men to express in my counseling office their disappointment in marriage.
They specifically explain marriage is not what they expected it to be.
They have fantasies of a 50/50 household where the husband and wife share responsibilities, visions of a fulfilled and passionate sex life, thoughts of a best bud to share one’s daily aggravations and joys with and financial stability.
Only they discover marriage far too often does not meet up to those beliefs (aka expectations).
Expectations are simply a set of hopes one assumed would come true based on a combination platter of:
A. What we witnessed and what was lacking between our own parents’ marital relationship
B. What our experiences were with relationship interactions as a child with our caregivers and siblings
C. Our past relationships
It is these experiences that significantly contribute to our subconscious and conscious marital expectations.
Evaluate – are your marriage expectations too high?
If you know your expectations are “high” but not “too high,” that likely means they are too high from your spouse’s point of view.
If the pattern of communication tends to include arguing about what you want, with your spouse often reporting feeling suffocated by your requests, overwhelmed by your needs and exhausted by your expectations, that’s an indicator your expectations may be too high.
“Far too often we want who we think that
person can be, not who that person is.”
Ask yourself the following question: Am I better off with or without this person?
In essence, you are evaluating if you feel having this person in your life is a contribution or a depletion.
If this person is of value to you just the way he is, although your expectations are for more than who this person is, remember we cannot change another. We can only change how we cope with, view and interact with another.
Far too often in our relationships we want who we think that person can be, not who that person is.
From this relationship expert’s advice to you, accept your spouse and value who he is, not who you expected him/marriage to be.
When you wake each morning, ask yourself: What is one thing I value, appreciate and love about my spouse/marriage?
Each day, make it a point to tell your spouse that one thing. Before you go to bed each night, remind yourself of that one thing.
Ladies, how are your marriage expectations too high?
Photo source: onsugar.com.